Healing Reign (Luke 13:10-17)

The right time for healing is now.  The right place for healing is here.  And the right person to receive healing is the one in front of you.

A missioanry from the Evangelical Protestant Church of the Ukraine, Louis Nollau was heading for the Pacific Northwest in 1852, when he was somehow waylaid in St. Louis, Missouri.  Even by today’s travel methods, Missouri is pretty far from Oregon, but Nollau did not let his dislocation stop him from following God’s call. Soon he had started a church and began ministering among the German immigrants in St. Louis.

The right time for healing is now.  The right place for healing is here.  And the right person to receive healing is the one right in front of you.  Even if you are two thousand miles from where you palnned to be.

When he heard that the local hospital had turned away 200 patients in a single year because of lack of space, Nollau saw another need.  He would found a hospital, but not one that would heal only certain people when the conditions were favorable.  The Good Samaritan hospital, operating in a pre-Civil War slave state, had a mission statement that stated that “No distinction of creed, race, nationality or color would be made in the acceptance or treatment of patients.”

The right time for healing is now.  The right place for healing is here.  And the right person to receive healing is the one right in front of you.  Regardless of “creed, race nationality or color.”

St. Louis in the 1850’s was a dangerous place.  Cholera epidemics and fires swept the city.  When Nollau proposed to the congregation that they meet a growing need by opening an orphanage, he was met with protests that it was not possible.  “Pastor,” a church member protested, “We don’t have what we need to start an orphanage.”  “Yes, we do,” Nollau replied, “We have an orphan.” The German Protestant Orphan’s Home was formally incorporated just three years later.

The right time for healing is now.  The right place for healing is here.  And the right person to receive healing is the one right in front of you.  Even if you think you are not enough.

When Jesus healed a woman in the temple on a Sabbath day, he brought the wrath of the establishment down upon him.  In their eyes, this was not the right time, not the right place, not the right person.  Jesus showed them, showed Louis Nollau nearly two hundred years ago and shows us today that this is always the right place, the right time, the right one.

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Restore Us (Luke 12:49-56)

In 2015 a group of youth including Kiran Oommen, the son of a United Church of Christ pastor, filed a constitutional climate lawsuit, Juliana v. U. S. against the United States government.  According to their website (https://www.ourchildrenstrust.org/), “Their complaint asserts that, through the government’s affirmative actions that cause climate change, it has violated the youngest generation’s constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property, as well as failed to protect essential public trust resources.”

“I signed on as a plaintiff because climate change haunts me every day, and all I can think to do right now is speak out,” Oommen said in an interview with the United Church News.  “We have built a platform to have our voices heard, and I feel pride, honor, and a great responsibility to use it for the betterment of our world. . . Whether we’re protesting in the streets, singing songs of rage, arguing in the courts, or simply talking to each other, I cannot imagine following any other path.  When your home is going up in flames and you know why, putting your head down and covering your ears doesn’t feel like an option.”

Kiran is supported in his activism by his mother, Reverend Melaine Oommen.  “My message to the wider church is “The learning from this lawsuit is what we have been doing as the church for 2000 years,” Reverend Oommen said, “Building loving and justice-seeking communities of resistance to the Empire has prepared us well for this moment.  Draw closer, sing louder, pray more, open the doors and windows and hearts of our communities of faith and let us work together with all people of faith and goodwill.  The courts may or may not solve climate change, but a Spirit-led people surely can!”

Jesus’ challenging words from two thousand years ago continue to ring in our ears today, mingling with the shouts and cries of our youth.  The message our Christ proclaims will sometimes be hard to hear.  Those who follow him may sometimes come in conflict with family and friends.  But the signs are clear–our beautiful earth is burning.  It is not too late.  As Christ’s followers, how will we respond?

You can read Kiran and Melanie’s quotes and a full story about them at:  http://www.ucc.org/news_delays_dont_deter_young_plaintiff_in_landmark_climate_lawsuit_11112018.

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Fall Hours Begin September 8, 2019

Beginning September 8, 2019, and continuing until the first Sunday in June, 2020, Faith Formation classes will meet at 9:30 a.m., and worship starts at 10:30 a.m.

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Calling All Musicians

During the summer months the St. John’s choir members are on hiatus.  If you, or someone you know, is musically talented and would like to offer special music for a worship service during the months of June through August, please inform Pastor Carol or Nancy Yeager.

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This Week at St. John’s UCC

Centering Prayer for August 25: Today’s scriptures remind us to listen for God’s miraculous presence–whether God’s voice comes as a call to ministry (Jeremiah 1:9-10), a promise of salvation (Psalm 71:3), a prophetic warning and promise (Hebrews 12:22-29), or a word of healing (Luke 13:12).  Recognizing God’s presence in our lives opens new avenues for life and growth if only we open our minds to hear and receive the messages sent from God.

Sunday, August 25–Worship at 10:00 a.m.; Pastor Carol’s sermon is titled “Mulliganeers” and deals with the God of second chances.  Scripture passages are Psalm 71:1-6 and Luke 13:10-17.  The Consistory meets following the worship service.  A coffee hour also takes place in Oppermann Hall after worship.

Tuesday, Aug. 27–Ladies meet at LuLu’s, 9 a.m.; TOPS, 6 p.m.

Wednes., Aug. 28–Men meet at Arby’s, 8:30 a.m.










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Our Daily Bread Soup Kitchen

If you would like to volunteer for helping serve at Our Daily Bread soup kitchen in Lima on Tuesday,  September 24, 2019,  please sign up on the bulletin board in the sanctuary.  Helpers are always welcome.

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Facebook Page

You are missing out on a super way to advertise our church if you are not sharing with many of your other Facebook friends St. John’s Facebook page.  There are many interesting articles posted every day.  “Friend” all of your friends and ask them to “Like” the St. John’s page–let’s let people know we are here, alive, and moving forward!

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St Johns Snow

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This website can now be found at www.blufftonstjohns.com!

In an effort to make this site easier for you to access, it can now be found at www.blufftonstjohns.com!  You can still find this page using the old web address, but now it will be easier to tell family and friends where they can find up-to-date news about St. John’s UCC in Bluffton, Ohio.

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